One Love, One Lifetime

Men, you can click the following link to get directions and information about our wedding, the rest of you can read our story below

As told by Christopher
I remember the first time we met. The year was 2004. The time was dusk. The sun was setting and was dancing across the water towards the Sea Turtle Inn. I had just come out to get some air. As I walked towards the lake I ran into this stunning young thing…and I was in love at first sight.

…wait, that’s not our story!
I like to often start telling people about our story by saying that I have known Elizabeth’s Dad longer than I have known her. He was my mentor at our summer encampment for the United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol. Over the course of the next two years I got to know him pretty well. I still have a copy of the “one minute manager meets the monkey” book he got me (it’s a pretty good management/leadership book and is a follow up on the “one minute manager”).

Elizabeth and I first met 7 years ago. She was 15 and a cadet flight sergeant and I was 18 and a cadet flight commander. It was the smallest encampment New York Wing has ever had, held at Stratton Air National Guard Base. And yet I don’t think we talked at all. I did notice Elizabeth as everyone who has every met her can tell you… there is this love of life that just beams out of her that you can’t help but see and be drawn too. Elizabeth was certainly in my mind pretty cool!

The following summer Elizabeth was one of my flight commanders (I was the squadron commander). While we talked a bit it was strictly business. The funny thing is and one thing the still amazes Elizabeth and I is that we had the same friends. We hung out with the same people. Her dad was my mentor again. We went to the same CAP parties and events. And yet we have NO memory of hanging out or really talking with each other at all. None at all!

Four years ago Elizabeth and I reconnected on Facebook. I had been going through my friends list and connecting with some of my old CAP friends. I decided to message her and see how she was doing and what she was up to. Over the course of the next few months we Facebook messaged back and forth. I had an open invitation for any of my friends to come visit the hotel my parents owned. When I told her she should come visit sometime I never thought she would actually take me up on my offer! I actually even forgot to tell my parents she was coming until a few days before she and her friend Nicole arrived.

I really enjoyed hanging out with Elizabeth and Nicole. I think it was the third day as I watched them walk up the hill to their room that I realized I liked her. It wasn’t until the end of the trip when I hugged her goodbye and realized how much I was going to miss her that I knew that I wanted to chase after this girl!

We texted and Facebooked A LOT over the course of the next few weeks. We spent the next two and a half years traveling to see each other and had a lot of amazing trips and had many awesome adventures.

God has blessed our relationship in so many ways and without his guiding hand we would not be here today…getting married!

We can’t think our family and friends enough for their support and guidance throughout the past three years.

And, I can’t wait until June 18th of this year when I will marry my best friend!

Elizabeth’s Story:
After the boat tipped over I sunk straight to the bottom of the crashing waves. I was so stricken with fear that I forgot how to swim and probably would have drowned at the bottom of that dark, dreadful lake. I don’t know how he managed to find me, but I knew I’d be okay when a strong arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me safely to shore. I saw at once that this mysterious man was my soul mate and he would carry me off into a golden sunset to live in a land free from ogres and flying monkeys.

Ha-ha, no, you’ve already learned from Chris that nothing like this is how it actually happened. You heard the story from him of how we first met at encampment, and it’s far from a sappy tale of a damsel in distress and her rescuer. He’s right, we met 7 years ago through Civil Air Patrol and had no interest in each other, and I barely remember interacting with him. I once wondered if I’d end up marrying someone who I had met years before, but didn’t think it would actually happen!

I’ve been a very independent person, and still am. In the beginning of college I wondered how I’d ever have time for a boyfriend when I met someone, since I was busy with my neuroscience and chemistry classes, volunteering, and working in a brain lab. Although I’ve always loved old-fashioned romance stories, and started praying around age eleven for God to guide and influence whatever boy would grow up to my husband, I definitely wasn’t looking for anyone when Chris and I met.

He had an easy, laid-back charm about him that I liked. He wasn’t trying to impress anyone, he was just being himself (“home-schooler" jeans, and all!). Best of all, he went along with my crazy ideas, even though he didn’t know me that well. One day on my first trip to NH, Chris asked me what I wanted to do… Two hours later, we were sitting in a restaurant wearing ridiculous clothes we found at a thrift store, ordering our meals in funny accents, and pretending to be entirely different people. I loved how he wasn’t afraid to be unique or to go along with my strange ideas.

During the end of his first trip to visit me in Pittsburgh, visiting just as a friend, Chris took me to a fancy restaurant, after which we went for a walk and sat on a bench on Mt Washington, overlooking the city skyline. Chris seemed to be steering the conversation towards relationships, and although I really liked him, I wanted to give it more time before we were “officially” in a relationship, so I kept guiding the conversation away from the topic. He didn’t bring it up again and months later I found out that he had been trying to say he really liked me, but wanted to get to know me better before asking me out! (He finally did, 3 months later!)

At first, long distance worked well for us. I was busy with school and it was nice how slow our relationship developed. But after awhile the distance became torture. The countless letters, surprise packages and 6 foot tall (!!!) roses didn’t make up for the lack of having him close by. The distance from Pittsburgh, PA to Jackson, NH felt the same as from Earth to Pluto.

Luckily, Chris was able to move to Pittsburgh shortly after we were engaged, in May of 2010. His apartment is two blocks away from mine, and the distance is much more manageable ? And here we are now, together, happy, engaged, and going crazy planning the wedding! We can’t wait to share our day with you!

P.S. There are lots more stories how we feel in love, how Chris spoiled me with lots of letter and packages in the mail, surprise visits to see each other, romantic picnics, a sweet proposal, but these are stories we plan on sharing for interested people for years, so we better not spill it all here!